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(price front of modern times. In gwint of priority, at least Ariosto and Tasso, its well as Milton and Pultaire, must yield the palm tu the author of the Lusiril, 10 alil: il lunedis is little lead in the English languayoIMT olie of the other great proces mentioned las been note tallislitest. Tliel'e il!' fiir Lilin translations of the Lusi!, six Italiali, viylit German, wie Spanisli, three moderu Greek, but only two English- ils Tuilly as there are in the Russian ; und Mr. Ivanison tells us, in his biography of the poet, that there is at least olin llclrrw translation of it and two Persiau. But our's contains not only the finest of all modern languages, but also the worst. And here we have the secret of the neglect with which l'annels hita liitiieru licen treated in England mu Jmericil. He has been traurile nut liuskitill. No other poet, ancient or modern, has three worse in English lands. It is not, indeed, the true Iliadil wo have in Pope's translation, which is little better than it paraphrasi; but it is conriched withi the most beautiful idious of all the languages of Europe, and its versification is elegant and harmonious, approaching in these respects, the wonderful original itselt. l'opres makes meus, in this way, for his want of fidelity ; but neither Fanshaw nor Mickle had the genius to do so in the case of the Lusiail. Both failed, because they were incompetent. (amoensappears to as little advantage in their versions, ils woulil tlir Ippolo Belvedere broken in pieces, and then patched together by unskilful lands. The public have 10 tilste for works of this kind ; they will not luuy them, but rather come 10 the conclusion thai the original is not wliat it is represented to be. Many great abors have fallen into disrepute in this way; in those competent to translate them correctly are apt to shrink from the task when they see what prejudices they have to contend against, and bear in mind the failure of those who had already made the attempt.
The first English translation of the Lusia? is that of Sir Richard Fanshaw, written during the usurpation of Cromwell. We have abundant evidence that Fanshaw was an accomplished scholar, and a skilful diplomatist. Probably none of his cotemporaries had a more familiar acquaintance with the Portuguese, "the eldest daughter of the Latin." But more than this was necessary. No one can translate a great poem who is not a poet himself. Fanshaw was, indeed, capable of writing agreeable verses ; but the poetic spirit he did not possess. led to this the fact, that
as his biographer tells us, the Lusiail "fell with other of his manuscripts, during the unsettled times of our anarchy, into unskilful hands, and was printed and published without his consent or knowledge, and before he could give it his last finishing stroke," and it will not seem strange that it has many imperfections. Yet, it is better upon the whole, than the more recent translation of Mickle—it contains fewer interpolations, alterations and omissions. This, however, is not high praise, since no translator has ever taken inore liberties with his author than Mickle. On visiting Lisbon, soon aster his version was published, he received every mark of consideration from the citizens ; but he had scarcely left, after a brief visit, when he was indignantly denounced as a mutilator of the national cpic, and as the enemy, rather than the friend, of their beloved Camoens, of whom they are proud to say:
Vertere fas; aequare nefas, acquabilis uni
Nor was he altogether guiltless of the charges thus preferred ; although no translator las praised his author more highly, or taken more pains to explain away all adverse criticism. But it was not for the admiration either of Camocis or the Lusiad lic undertook the task from first. Of this we have sullicient evidence in his own language. He gives us to understand, plainly cnough, that he regarded the whole affair in a utilitarian, or business point of view. The East India Company had begun to flourish ; it had already an immense dominion. The Lusiad being the epic poem of commerce, and having reference to the same Eastern empire, it was very properly deemed a suitable offering to that powerful oligarchy. Accordingly it was recommended by the translator ; and, not content with this, lie wrote an elaborate defence of it chartered company possessing exclusive rights, accompanying it with it brief, but rather depreciating listory of the Portuguese dominion in Isia. What he thought di rot suit English ideas, was omitted in the poem, and its place was filled with what was likely to picase the East India Company. To guard, as best he could, against the conscquences of liberties so glaring, not to say discreditable, he says, among other similar things in his Dissertation, “Nor let the critic, if he finds the incaning of Camoens in some instances altered, imagine that he has found a blunder. It VOL. II. -XO, III.
was not t:) gratify the dull fev', whose greatest pleasure in reading a translation is to see what the author exactly says ; it was to give a poem that might live, in the Enylish language, which was the ambiti n of the translator." Is well inight a fourth-rate sculptor have attempted to make an English lion of the Jupiter of Phideas. But there were not many in England at the time, егер among the critics, who had any knowledge of Portuguese. ['pon the other hand, all hail heard of the Lusiu as a great poem ; so that the grossest errors in the translation were likely to be passed over; nay, praised, on the supposition that they were peculiarilies of the author, which, for aught they knew, were regarded by those who understood the language, as positive beauties. At any rate, Mr. Mickle made no scruple to render the Lusiad, not anything like what it was in the original, but what it ought to have been, according to his own notions.
It were easy to give instances of alterations, additions and omissions in proof of this ; for they are to be met with, to a greater or less extent, in every canto throughout the work. But we must confine ourselves to one or two ; and those which first met our view, occur in the cighth and ninth cantos. In the original Gama, the Achilles of the Lusiad is made to scize on Hindoo merchants, as hostages, on the coast of Malabar, in order that the Portuguese, detained on the shores, might be released. The wives and children of the former entreat the native authorities to give the strangers their liberty ; and their petitions are heard by the Zamorim. But with the view of obviating similar detentions or arrests, on the part of the natives, Gama, in sailing from Calicut, retains some of the hostages, setting the rest at liberty. All this forms a highly interesting episode in the poem. It affords the author an opportunity of drawing a vivid and powerful sketch of the domestic affections. The anguish of the wives and children on the shore, at the prospect of seeing their husbands and fathers carried off, as they thought, into captivity, and the silent, manly grief of the latter, are portrayed with a masterly hand ; and although the whole picture is perfectly original, it reminds one of Homer more than any other passage to be found in a modern poet ; except what has been partly, if not wholly, borrowed. The Hindoos, pacing up and down the deck, without uttering a word, show that they do not feel the less for having swarthy faces, and the
eloquence imparted by the poet to this silence, is scarcely surpassed by that of Chryses in the first book of the Iliad, when, on failing to procure the release of his daughter from Agamemnon, he walks pensively along the shore.* Nor is this the only simi larity between the two passages ; for Camoens, as well as Homer, makes his verse flow mournfully, so that it may correspond with the grief of the captives. But, almost incredible though it may appear, not a line of this appears in Mr. Mickle's translation. He deliberately suppresses the whole scene, and entirely alters the conclusion of the canto. Nor is he satisfied with this. The first seventeen stanzas of the succeeding poem are set aside in a similar manner,
and in their stead we have nearly three hundred lines of Mickle's own, in which he gets up a battle between the natives and the Portuguese, causing the latter to destroy a large flotilla belonging to the former, and finally to bombard the city, about a century before gunpowder had ever been used in the art of war !
In other places he entirely alters the management of the poem There is scarcely a finer episode in Homer or Virgil than the tale of Adamaston, the terrible spectre of the Cape, of which we shall presently speak more particularly. In the original, the frightful apparition is made to tell his own story; but this did not please Mr. Mickle, who makes the King of Melinda tell it for him, as if some French translator of Shakespeare had put the words of the ghost in Hamlet into the mouth of Polonius!
The faults of Fanshaw are of a different character. He does not possess so much poetical ability as Mickle ; or rather he does not so well understand the knack of rhyme. Fanshaw was much better acquainted with the literature of Italy than with that of Portugal; and he confounded the idioms of the former with those of the latter. The effect of this is often ludicrous ; for when Camoens is most serious and profound, the translator is apt to introduce a metaphor or comparison which is much more suitable for a farce than an epic. An instance or two, which are as many as we can give, will illustrate our meaning. Thus, Camoens says in sweetest numbers, and in tones of becoming gravity :
E o Sol ardente,
Co’o temor grande em peixes converteo."
which is turne:) almost into burlene, is follows:
• 'Twas in tliit month, w!!!..Si, ihriskos fryes.
To lilich fetis Bruditis Un'il two deities,"
There are few liner prismagns in the Lusiad than that in which Carma is mule to describe a birille it has hall with the Caffres. In the original, the description is lively cheerful, but dignified; but in the translation it depends into vulgurity. We transcribe a few lines, giving the original at the bottom of the page, so that those who understand Portuguese may be able to judge for themcalves,*
“ I clow on Twits : 1:1). -Collies they rain.
uhail upoil 12- rit...!!!!!!) sind:
It is to l'anshaw the Englis! reader hulst turn, however, for the best idea lis language afiords of the plan and character of the Lusiai. Il le fails to reproduce the beanies of the original, it is not to gratily ani oligarchy: lle hwile'stly does his best to do justice to his author, ithih bi parily umiis himself, in his dedi(ution of the lirist citivi ww the Earl of stuurd, that his work is more English than lortuguise'. 11e virs it to luis lordship as 3 "treasure-trove whiclı," he says, "ils to the second lise, or rather being, it bath from me in the English tongue, is so truly a native of Yorkshire and holding on your lurdship, that from the hour I began it to the end thereof, I slep! 101 once out of these walls.“ Certainly it was being rather than lite ho imparted to his version; but, it the same time, it was suficient to create such admiration for the Lusiail in the great and critical mind of Dr. Johnson, as to
Da espesyal nuvem settas e pedradas,